Rediscover your sense of wonder in nature and explore a human need for wilderness with celebrated rural historian Jerry Apps in his new Wisconsin Historical Society Press book Whispers and Shadows: A Naturalist's Memoir.
In these times of technological innovation and fast-paced electronic communication, when it becomes easy to take the slow pace of nature for granted, farmer and conservationist Apps explores the nature lessons he learned by following his father's advice to "listen for the whispers" and "look in the shadows."
Combining his signature lively storytelling and careful observations of nature, Apps draws on a lifetime of experiences, from his earliest years growing up on a central Wisconsin farm to his current ventures as gardener, tree farmer, and steward of wetlands, prairies, and endangered Karner blue butterflies. He also takes inspiration from the writings of Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, Henry David Thoreau, Sigurd Olson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Muir, Barbara Kingsolver, Wendell Berry, Richard Louv, and Rachel Carson.
In eloquent essays, Apps reminds us to slow down, turn off technology, and allow our senses to reconnect us to the natural world. For it is there, he writes:
"I am able to return to a feeling I had when I was a child, a feeling of having room to stretch my arms without interfering with another person, a feeling of being a small part of something much larger than I was, and I marvel at the idea."
"Whispers and Shadows" is a companion to Apps's top-selling Society Press memoir The Quiet Season: Remembering Country Winters, the inspiration for an Emmy Award-winning Wisconsin Public Television documentary "A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps." A companion documentary based upon "Whispers and Shadows" and titled "The Land with Jerry Apps" is scheduled to air in November 2015.
About the Author:
Jerry Apps has worked as a rural historian and environmental writer for forty eight years. For ten years he wrote a weekly column on nature appreciation for several central Wisconsin newspapers. He has written many books on nature and environmental topics, including these Wisconsin Historical Society Press books Old Farm: A History, The Quiet Season: Remembering Country Winters, and Garden Wisdom: Lessons Learned from 60 Years of Gardening. In 2012, Wisconsin Public Television produced the hour-long documentary "A Farm Story with Jerry Apps." A second documentary, "A Farm Winter with Jerry Apps," debuted the following year. A documentary based upon "Whispers and Shadows," will debut in 2015. Apps and his wife, Ruth, divide their time between their home in Madison and their farm, Roshara, near Wild Rose.